Recycle sweet tins into gift boxes

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Dare I confess we have become quite attached to the boxes of sweets available at this time of year. Our excuse is that surely three mini bars of chocolate from a sweet tin is far less than a full normal size bar of chocolate..  but then we have a largish plastic box left. Time to set my mind to ideas for how to recycle sweet tins !!

The empty sweet tins make great containers for Christmas gifts. Recycle sweet tins to hold all sorts of gifts, for instance, homemade body products, selection of homemade chutneys, cheese and biscuits, a car selection of goodies (screen wiper, torch, gloves, spare light bulbs etc).

Recycle sweet tins into gorgeous gift boxes, ideal for Christmas

You can easily decorate them, this in itself could be part of the present. Who would not want a lovely round storage tin beautifully decorated? I can visualize a tin in pale blue with decoupaged maps on the lid for a travel theme.

How to recycle sweet tins into gift boxes



I have decorated this tin with chalk paint, applying a layer of plastic primer first from Novasol Spray UK.

Spraying chalk paint enables you to build up thin layers – be patient otherwise you may apply too much in one go causing runs (I speak from experience!).


To make your own, apply a primer. Once dry apply a couple of thin coats of chalk paint.


The inside lid of the tin has a crackled effect. To achieve this effect yourself apply a thick layer of chalk paint spray. Use crumpled fabric to mop the excess off.

Recycle sweet tins into gift boxes

Once you chalk paint is fully dry you are ready to decoupage your lid, or sides.

Cut up fabric or paper into approx 1″ size pieces. Using watered down PVA glue adhere to the lid, carefully applying piece by piece.

Recycle sweet tins into gift boxes

Allow to dry and double check all edges are glued down. One finished recycled sweet tin.

Recycle sweet tins into gift boxes

Recycle sweet tins into gift boxes

This one is for my sister – in -law. I have knitted her a cowl and gloves. I love this project, what a difference a primer makes:)Just how awesome is it that the recycled gift packaging is a present in itself.  There are so many possibilities for customising the recycled sweet tins to suit yourself or for

Sign up to my free resource library for free top tips for working with spray paint guide.

I love this project, what a difference a primer makes:) Just how awesome is it that the recycled gift packaging is a present in itself.  There are so many possibilities for customising the recycled sweet tins to suit yourself or for a friend. If you don’t have any fabric available you could always use ripped up gift paper, comics, maps. Let your imagination run riot!!

If you love spray chalk paint and recycling check out my loaf tins transformed into a DIY recycled planter.





The products have been provided free for this project, all opinions are my own.


  1. November 27, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    What a pretty tin and such a good way to re-use one as well. I’ve never heard of spray on chalk paint, will have to keep an eye out for it.

  2. November 27, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    When I first saw the finished tub I just assumed it had started as a plain tin, I had no idea it was one of those super common plastic container – the kind we have a cupboard full of (I can’t throw them out as they look so useful but I really don’t need more than a couple)
    It looks completely transformed. A stack in a kids room for lego or other toys with little bits would look great.
    Thanks for the Primer tip too, I would not have know it was needed, but it makes sense.
    Julie recently posted…Handmade Monday #2My Profile

  3. November 28, 2016 / 6:58 am

    Beautiful and would look good filled with cookies as a gift

  4. December 6, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    What an awesome idea! I have so many of these tins left each Christmas and I use them all year as cake tins but they look so unattractive and uncoordinated. I love the idea of decorating them and they make the prettiest gift boxes adding value to any present.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…MilkShake Fabulous Friends on DVDMy Profile

  5. December 7, 2016 / 9:02 pm

    What a beautiful upcycle. My grandma once gave me a hat box full of things for Christmas. #Trash2Treasure

  6. December 8, 2016 / 11:51 am

    Ah! This has solved something I’ve been puzzling about. We have a lot of similar containers. I use them for storing and sorting, but I’d love to use them to give gifts in. Now I know about the primer, I shall know what to do next time. Might not worry about the inside, as there is no writing to hide in there. #Trash2Treasure
    Cheryl | TimeToCraft recently posted…A thrifty giftMy Profile

  7. Julie Swan
    January 12, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    Lovely, I will be doing this for presents next year. Thank You

  8. Darcy
    January 22, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    I love this but I can’t figure out how people find lovely decorated paper for use in decoupage.

    • Gerd
      September 14, 2017 / 3:15 am

      Det finnes masse fine og morsomme papirservietter du kan bruke. men husk: det er bare det øverste laget du kan benytte, ikke de to lagene som er hvite. Det finnes også decoupage papir, der er ofte i større eller mindre ark, men her i Norge er de litt dyre. De kjøper du i bokhandel,foto kan også brukes. Bare noen tips av hva jeg bruker, glemte visst å si at jeg også klipper ut fra ulike magasiner,reklamer og innpakningspapir med pene mønster. Lykke til

      • Vicky
        September 20, 2017 / 6:20 am

        It is interesting what different materials are available in different countries.

  9. Jenny
    February 22, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    Darcy, my friend does a lot of decoupage and always asks me to look out for really pretty gift wrapping paper and she also saves the pretty paper that flowers are sometimes wrapped in. I will certainly be having a go at this idea for myself. The idea of making such an ugly tin into something so pretty is amazing.

  10. Amy Liddle
    March 5, 2017 / 11:26 am

    What an amazing idea absolutely love it and such a great part of a mothers day gift. I have never heard of the sprays before so am looking into them. Can i ask did you use a clear or white primer on this x

    • Vicky
      March 5, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Hi, used a clear primer:) hope that helps, enjoy making, Vicky

  11. March 24, 2017 / 10:29 am

    Wow! I love this idea so much. Thanks for sharing xx

  12. Esther
    March 31, 2017 / 12:22 am

    This is absolutely beautiful. I would love to make it to put a gift in for my nans 100th birthday . Can I ask did you fold the fabric over the edge of the lid or neatly cut it off of the outside? Thanks

    • Vicky
      March 31, 2017 / 8:18 am

      What a lovely idea for your Nan:) I cut it off along the edge, so that it didn’t interfere with the connection between lid and tin.

  13. May 14, 2017 / 8:49 pm

    How crafty! I love the idea. I have an empty tin and guess what I am going to do with it? Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful project.

  14. May 14, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    PS: This might be a silly question, but is there a water to glue ratio you use when attaching fabric?

    • Vicky
      May 17, 2017 / 7:05 am

      Hi Mila, I’m sorry I can’t remember the ratio I used, its definitely no more than 50% water but could be less.

      • May 17, 2017 / 3:48 pm

        I am sure I will be able to figure it out. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

  15. Gerd
    September 14, 2017 / 3:22 am

    Jeg glemte å si at når du bruker papir så finnes det decoupage lakk/lim som er spesielt til dette bruket. Kjøper det i hobbybutikker. Når du har dekorert ferdig og det har tørket bruker du lakk/lim over hele dekorasjonen din med ett tynt strøk, dette kan du gjøre flere ganger,men la det tørke for hver gang. Da holder dekoreringen seg veldig pen og du kan tørke støv av den og vaske den.:-)

  16. Susan
    December 4, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    I am trying these lovely boxes and the paint has run in a couple of places, and the serial number is showing through.
    Any advice on how to deal with the runs ? Will the serial number go with several layers of paint ?
    The primer I used is white.

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